Assisted dying
The Netherlands has seen a huge rise in requests from people to end their lives.Shaun Best/Reuters

A leading Dutch psychiatrist has said that many in her profession are "too hesitant" in agreeing to euthanasia for patients with psychiatric diseases, saying that children as young as 12, with mental health problems and who want to end their lives, should be listened to.

It comes amid a huge spike in the Netherlands of people suffering from trauma requesting euthanasia. In 2010, only two people were euthanised in the country, but in 2015 that number had reportedlyreached 56.

Paulan Stärcke, who has carried out the procedures at the country's End of Life clinic, told the Telegraph: "There's a giant misunderstanding. Euthanasia is a good death by the wish of the person who dies and no-one else. It is an execution of the wish of a patient."

Her controversial views come after a sexual abuse victim in her 20s was allowed to proceed with ending her life, because she had "incurable" PTSD, according to the Dutch Euthanasia Commission.

She will present her findings at the Euthanasia 2016 conference in Amsterdam on Thursday,12 May, including a film of two families of patients with psychiatric conditions whose euthanasia she performed.

However Erwin Kompanje, assistant professor of clinical ethics at Erasmus MC University Medical Centre, was "stunned, surprised and alarmed" by a television programme about the End-of-Life clinic in February.

He told The Telegraph: "Many psychiatric cases revolve around how much suffering the subject can bear. Some find their mental suffering so unbearable that they want to die, while others find it bearable in a similar situation. That makes it difficult to judge: has everything has been tried in a therapeutic sense?

Euthanasia was legalised in the Netherlands in 2002, provisoned for those with "unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement". There is also a provision for children from 12 to 18 years of age in the country.